My friend Oanka invited me to join her and a few other friends and their dogs on a 1 day trip in the Ciucas Mountains, which would turn up to be one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while. We found a sunny Saturday in the middle of November when all of us were free agreed on all the details and set off on our adventure.
Cabana Muntele Rosu is located some 155 km north of Bucharest and on a typical Saturday morning, the drive will take 2 – 2.5 h. We wanted to arrive as soon as possible so we met at 7 AM and by 7:30 AM we exiting the city, eager and excited. After a very short coffee and fuel break, we arrived at Cheia and from here Cabana Muntele Rosu is only 15 minutes away. The last few kilometers are truly spectacular, the road has lots of tight bends is very narrow and steep.
There is a large free parking spot at the location where we left the cars and started walking. There is also a public bathroom where you can change and prepare yourself for the hike.
The hiking started from Cabana Muntele Rosu 1280m and our goal was to reach the Cabana Ciucas 1595 m and from there, to try to climb one of the peaks and arrive at around 1800m above the sea level.
The first part of the hike was through the forest which being in the middle of November was covered in a fluffy layer of very red and orange leaves. The path is very safe tho, with a lot of markings on trees and rocks and you will definitely see other people along the route.
On the way up, we found a stream of freshwater and decided to take a short break, our dogs enjoyed it too as they all needed some freshwater and a little playtime between them 🙂
After about 40 minutes of trailing through the woods, we eventually found a forest road, which leads directly to Cabana Ciucas. This road is a bit steeper than the rest of the hike and all of us, besides the dogs’ ofc, felt it 🙂
Advice: be aware this is not a walk in a park, bring your trekking shoes and mountain gear with you. Pack some bottled water and snacks too (or, as our friend did, all the chocolates in the world).
After 1,5 hours we arrived at Cabana Ciucas. We were all a bit hungry and the people in charge were kind enough to let us bring the dogs inside for a warm meal. They also have an outside terrace but it’s only for summertime. Here you can find more details about the Cabana Ciucas.
The food here is amazing, I recommend the cabin specialties and definitely take “papanasi” for desert. If you want to you can book a room here and stay to explore the surroundings even more and wake up with an incredible view.
Once we finished eating we decided there isn’t enough time to reach Varful Ciucas and instead continued our hike along the ridge of the mountain staying on the red cruces path. The view from up here is truly spectacular and we were very lucky to catch a sunny day to enjoy the landscape. Here is the place where you will need clothes for very windy weather, be prepared to put your fluffy hat on.
The path along the ridge is fairly easy to climb with a few sections where it gets a bit steeper, but this is by no means a hard path.
Finally, we reached the highest point in our journey – Varful Gropsoarele 1833m. Happy and a bit tired we took a moment to catch our breath and enjoy the view and breathe in all the fresh mountain air. The dogs, however, didn’t seem tired at all and still had enough energy to run around and play.
Advice: the ridge is usually windy even on a clear sunny day so be sure to have special gear with you – a windbreaker jacket is must when climbing the mountain.
As the sun was slowly setting we started our descent too, taking the red triangle path. The first part of the way down is a mild incline along the valley with a few patches of light forest. Around the halfway point there is a steeper portion, especially tricky if wet. After 1 hour we were back at our starting point, Cabana Muntele Rosu.
Advice: it’s also a good idea to have trekking sticks with you for the descent. They help you balance better and protect your knees.
After almost 6 hours spend on the Ciucas Mountain, we felt a bit tired and we start to drive home. If you can, try to avoid Friday afternoons and Sunday afternoons as the traffic is getting a little crazy.
My pleasure to share with you the nice experience from the perfect weekend with friends.
You can stalk me @Alex. 🙂